Leading university reform129For universities to effectively address contemporary global issues, it is vital that they adapt and evolve to keep pace with the rapidly changing global society. To promote innovative reform among Japan’s national universities and elevate the standards of its higher education, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) launched the Designated National University (DNU) program. The program differs from more conventional government-led reforms in that it facilitates the revision of key regulations, allowing universities greater control in proactively designing their own institutional approaches and strategies.Selected as one of three institutions for the launch of the program, Kyoto University’s DNU initiatives are organized into four pillars, each of which complements the others. The reforms are anticipated to inspire institutions throughout Japan, and spearhead a new era for its national universities. Kyoto University’s DNU initiatives:Generating knowledge, fostering innovation, and guiding social and academic developmentA flexible and dynamic approach to knowledge creation, cultivating originalityGenerating a high-level and diverse flow of talentKyoto University selected as a Designated National University (DNU) by the government of JapanAdvancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary research and enhancing international collaborationProvide dynamic research environments where leading researchers mutually enhance each other’s work, including the Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study (KUIAS).Promote international collaboration through the “on-site laboratory system” (laboratories mutually established in Japan and overseas in cooperation with international partners).Promoting international mobility by students, researchers, and staffLaunch a new undergraduate program for students seeking Japan-related careers.Expand the range of programs offered in collaboration with renowned international partners.Enhance the university's strategy for international student recruitment.

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